Requirements for Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals

A paraprofessional is an employee of a local education agency who provides instructional support. Duties of a paraprofessional may include:

  • providing one-on-one tutoring if such tutoring is scheduled at a time when a student would not otherwise receive instruction from a teacher;
  • assisting with classroom management, such as by organizing instructional materials;
  • providing instructional assistance in a computer laboratory;
  • conducting parental involvement activities;
  • providing instructional support in a library or media center;
  • acting as a translator; or
  • providing instructional support services under the direct supervision of an appropriately certified teacher.

Paraprofessional Requirements

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that LEAs continue to ensure that paraprofessionals performing instructional duties on a Title I, Part A Schoolwide served campus, or those that have at least part of their salary paid for by Title I, Part A on a Targeted Assistance campus, meet the Paraprofessional Highly Qualified requirements.

Highly Qualified paraprofessionals must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent and meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Complete at least two years of study at an institution of higher education (defined as completion of 48 semester hours or equivalent trimester hours) of college coursework or an applicable number of semester hours as defined by the institution of higher education attended, whichever is less;
  2. Possess an associate’s (or higher) degree; or
  3. Meet a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a formal state or local academic assessment–
    • Knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics; or
    • Knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate. 

The paraprofessional must also meet the state’s paraprofessional certification exam and requirements.  Paraprofessionals whose duties consist solely of parent and family engagement activities or translation services are exempt from the qualification requirement.